Woman Pictured in Oscars 'In Memoriam' Tribute Is Not Dead
For many, this year's Oscars "In Memoriam" will be remembered as the painful tribute to a collection of beloved entertainers who passed away in 2016, but for Jan Chapman, it will be remembered as the year she was prematurely mourned in front of an audience of millions.
The producer's likeness appeared Sunday night among those of luminaries like Carrie Fisher, Patty Duke and Gene Wilder, despite the fact she's alive and well.
It was actually costume designer Janet Patterson, whose name appeared beside the face of Chapman, who died last year.
Patterson was a four-time Oscar nominee. Both she and Chapman were Australian, though it's unclear if that contributed to the mix-up.
Chapman released a statement, in which she called Patterson a friend, "great beauty" and frequent collaborator.
"I was devastated by the use of my image in place of my great friend and long-time collaborator Janet Patterson. I had urged her agency to check any photograph which might be used and understand that they were told that the Academy had it covered," the statement read. "Janet was a great beauty and four-time Oscar nominee and it is very disappointing that the error was not picked up. I am alive and well and an active producer."
As terrible as it is, the accidental killing off of the "active producer" registers only as a minor error compared to the high-profile blunder that capped off the night.
After Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty initially crowned La La Land as the year's best film, a chaotic scene unfolded where it was revealed Moonlight was actually the Best Picture winner.
The Academy's accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers has since apologized for the error and vowed to investigate how it could have happened.